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This scrumptious Swiss chard soup takes one pot, it’s ready in 30 minutes and will surprise your taste buds! Hearty red lentils combined with green Swiss chard, garlic, and broth infused with cumin, turmeric and cinnamon. Finished with a bright splash of lemon juice, fresh coriander, and chili flakes.
Healthy and deliciously warming, this creamy soup is a great way to use your fresh, lush Swiss chard and its colorful stems too!
Swiss chard is a powerhouse of nutrients and it’s very versatile. I love pairing it with red lentils, they cook fast and break down very quickly which is what makes this soup so wonderfully thick and hearty. Lentils also add plenty plant-based protein turning this swiss chard soup into a fabulous vegan balanced meal.
Not only is this recipe convenient and packed with nutrients, but it’s also tasty!
With its aromatic spices and fresh lemon and coriander, this soup is anything but bland. It hits the perfect balance of warm, tangy, and a bit spicy (although you can leave the chili flakes out if they’re not your thing.)
What ingredients you need
- Swiss chard
- Red lentils
- Spices (turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, crushed red pepper)
- Olive oil
- Fresh coriander
- Salt & pepper
How to make Swiss chard soup
(Note: the full recipe is at the bottom of the page)
- Saute’ diced onion in olive oil until translucent
- Add spices and garlic
- Stir in the chopped Swiss chard stems
- Add red lentils and vegetable broth
- Cook until the lentils are soft
- Blend part of the soup with a stick blender
- Add salt, Swiss chard leaves and half of the coriander leaves
- Cook for about 2 minutes until the leaves are soft but still bright green
- Serve with lemon juice, fresh coriander and chili flakes!
What does Swiss chard taste like?
Swiss chard is very similar to spinach. Once their green leaves are cooked – and they cook quikly – they have a mild sweet taste and tender texture. You can eat both stems and leaves, however, the stems take a bit longer to cook.
Swiss chard soup flavor
- Aromatic: onion and garlic are sauteed in extra virgin olive oil until tender and fragrant. I keep this flavor base simple, but if you have one carrot and one celery rib to use up, make this easy soffritto to add extra flavor and vegetables.
- Spices: a combination of cumin, coriander and cinnamon for a deep flavor, the crushed red pepper for a subtle heat, and finally the turmeric for its health benefits and amazing color to make this soup bright and vibrant.
- Red lentils: they’re nutty, a bit sweet, and bring plenty of nutrients and plant-based protein. They also add a delicious creamy consistency without a drop of cream, especially if you give the soup a blitz using an immersion blender.
- Swiss chard: super healthy with sweet leaves and stems. Don’t overcook the leaves, but keep them tender but bright and green.
- Lemon juice and fresh coriander (to finish): this Swiss chard soup would not be complete without the final addition of lemon a generous sprinkle of fresh coriander. Don’t skip the lemon!
More legume and vegetable soup?
If you love hearty soups packed with legumes and vegetables, you might love these recipes:
- Smoky chickpea & lentil soup
- White beans and kale soup
- Red lentil soup with carrots
- Mediterranean chickpea soup
If you make this Swiss chard soup recipe or if you have any questions, let me know! Leave a comment, send me a message, or rate it.
I would love to hear from you!
Swiss Chard Soup with Lentils
- 1 ½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or olive oil
- 1 onion, diced (any color is fine)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ Tbsp Turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp coriander
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
- ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 ½ cup (10oz-300 grams) red lentils, rinsed and pick over
- 1 bunch (7oz/200 grams) swiss chard, leaves and stems separated
- 5 ½ cup (1.3 litre) water or low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 1 small bunch fresh coriander
- 1 large lemon, cut into wedges
- Wash the chard and with a knife separate the leaves from the stems. Chop the stems and slice the leaves (but keep leaves and stems separate).
- In a large pot or Dutch oven warm the olive oil, add onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, all the spices, give a good stir, and cook for a further 20-30 seconds.
- Add the lentils, the chopped stems and the broth (alternately, warm water will work too). Bring to the boil.
- Reduce to medium heat, cover with a lid and cook until the lentils are soft, it will take about 15-20 minutes.
- Once the lentils are done, blend part of the soup with an immersion blender (alternately, transfer part of the soup into a highspeed blender, but be careful, it's hot and in this case you might want to turn the heat off and wait 5 minutes until it cools down a bit).
- Add the Swiss chard leaves and half of the coriander, push them down with the back of a wooden spoon, and cook for about 3 minutes until the leaves are tender but still bright and green.
- Turn off the heat, taste and adjust the seaoning adding more salt and pepper according to your taste. You might want to adjust the consinstency too, feel free to add a bit of warm water if you wish to thin out the soup.
- Serve with extra chili flakes if you like, chopped coriander leaves and lemon juice (about a quarter of lemon per serving is fine, don't skip it!). Enjoy.
- Swiss chard: I used rainbow chard in this recipe, but regular swiss chard with the white stem works well too.
- Storage: This soup will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. It will absorb all the liquid as it sits and to reheat, add some water until it’s thinned to the desired consistency, then gently warm over medium-low heat.
- Nutrition facts: Please note that the nutrition values are based on an online nutrition calculator. It’s an estimate only and it should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. The nutrition value is for one serving (about 2 cups).